Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
July 23, 2018
Present: Chairman Moritz, Selectman Ubaldo, Selectman Moore, Selectman Boisseau, Selectman Glavac.
Chairman Moritz opened the meeting at 5:30 pm.
Dena Rae from Department of Transportation came before the Board to discuss the state’s offer of compensation for easements. She explained one easement is an access easement that surrounds Maia Papaya but is town property. She explained they will use this access to put the slip line under the road way and said it is the least intrusive. Selectman Ubaldo asked if it was just an access easement and was told yes it was a temporary access easement until construction is finished. Ms. Rae said the footbridge at the Visitor Center would be moved during the construction as well as the retaining walls and footing. She said they will reestablish the wall as it is today. Ms. Rae explained they will use corrugated steel piling to support the banks and control the water flow. She pointed out some trees that will be impacted. Clare Brown said one of the trees is coming down anyways. Chairman Moritz asked if there is a contingency plan and was told yes. Ms. Rae reviewed with the Board the compensation amount for each easement ($810.00, $1190.00, $320.00). She said they hoped to start on the project at the end of the summer or fall. Ms. Rae explained the permanent drainage easement to the Board, so DOT can construct, reconstruct, maintain, repair and operate ditches, culverts, pipes, catch basins or other facilities for drainage purposes. She also explained the other temporary easement from Route 302 to Barrett Brook. Selectman Glavac moved to accept the easements for two parcels pending review from legal. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 5-0.
Kevin Leen from KRT Appraisal came before the Board to review the Statistical Revaluation. He explained they reviewed sales data and permits. He said the sales data they use is qualified sales only which means they do not look at short sales, foreclosures, sales to relatives, etc. Mr. Leen said the Revaluation process is important to verify all property is valued properly and adjust for market shifts. He also explained how the assessment has to meet the Department of Revenue guidelines by keeping within the required ratio %. Mr. Leen said the preliminary value changes for the following are:
• Residential + 17.1%
• Commercial + 13.4%
• Vacant Land – 4.1%
• Overall + 13.9%
Mr. Leen expects the project to be completed by August 31 after holding informal meetings with property owners during the month of August.
Paul Greenlaw from Bethlehem Reimagined came before the Board to give an update. He said their Ballots and Beer fundraiser raised $4200.00 so far and they would like to give $4000.00 to the town to purchase the machine and the chip. He explained they will hang onto the $200.00 for now and add to it in case there are additional expenses in the future. Selectman Boisseau moved to accept $4000.00 from Bethlehem Reimagined for the purpose of automated ballot counting machine. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 5-0.
Mr. Greenlaw listed some other updates from Bethlehem Reimagined including; sponsored 4 banners, they will volunteer at Summerfest, they hope to have their 501c3 status by the end of the year and will then be able to work on grant strategies, they have a facebook page, did garden at Bethlehem Country Club, WREN Collaboration ideas, have a meeting with Todd Workman, meeting with Kate Griffin from Northern NH Arts Alliance and met with Sarah Stewart Commissioner of NH Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources. Chairman Moritz asked if they have worked with the group (Plan NH Charrette Program) that will offer suggestions for Main Street. Mr. Greenlaw said they put that off until next year. Carol Kerivan said it is labor intensive and requires funding. She also said they bring in community planners and evaluate resources and they envision what main street should be and will create a plan for the town. She said the cost is between $6000.00 and $8000.00.
Dann read a statement (attached) explaining he is asking for evidence and proof that the Constitution from which all the laws emanate apply to the public, including him. He wants the paper-trail or other physical evidence. Chairman Moritz said she didn’t know if this was the forum to evaluate that and said the Board does not create the laws, only ordinances. Bill Bochynski said there is no evidence for which rules applies to anyone and said you (Board) have a problem. He asked the Board what facts and evidence they have.
Chairman Moritz opened the continued public for Profile Trails. Chairman Moritz asked about the section of the trail that is not on the boundary line and Gardner Kellogg explained 83% of it is along the boundary line but that section has a natural tree buffer with a property and he thought that should remain. He also explained the Right of Way ends 50 feet after that abutting property. Peter Roy asked if the full trail route was available to see. Sandy Olney said yes at their meeting and would love people to come. The Board discussed expiration date for the easement if the trail doesn’t get built and also how many months required before it is considered abandoned. The Board agreed September 2021 (2 years after the grant money expires) is a fair expiration date. Selectman Ubaldo objected to the trail being non-motorized. Selectman Boisseau moved to move forward with easement for Profile Trails on Map/Lot 204/1.3 pending legal approval with a termination date of 09/2021 if not constructed and seek legal counsel advice of discontinued use that would constitute abandonment. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 5-0.
The Board reviewed the sand bids. One bid was received from Bethlehem Earth Materials. Selectman Moore moved to accept the sand bid from Bethlehem Earth Materials. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 5-0.
Julian Czarny asked if the Transfer Station Committee was idle. Selectman Ubaldo said they had a meeting about 6 weeks ago and decided numbers would change so would wait until closer to 2021. Mr. Czarny suggested cutting the vegetation from that lot instead of waiting 2-3 years. Selectman Glavac asked how they will make an informed decision on trash disposal and how they will plan for it. Selectman Ubaldo said they were looking at all options for Transfer Station including contracting with Littleton and using land by the Highway Dept. Sandy Laleme said they need to look at Trudeau Road as an option and said they will need equipment. She also said the committee could get costs of equipment now and to look at basic cost to see what option the committee should steer towards. She also said Route 116 is a terrible place to turn in and out of and said they need to start putting money away. Dann said he met with the Littleton Town Manager and the Transfer Station employee and he can get the cost to use theirs. Carol Kerivan said she agrees with Sandy Laleme to get the prices now and add a 10 – 15 % buffer. Chairman Moritz said the committee is still charged with getting the info and asked Selectman Ubaldo for a realistic timeline. It was decided budget time would be a good time for an update. Rita Farrell asked if the members are the same and she was told yes except for a few who never participated. Mrs. Farrell said Casella has to stay open until 2021 to provide a public benefit but questioned if they have to provide waste service to the town until then per the settlement agreement. She said it states until stage IV is at capacity. Mr. Czarny said the town spent $100,000 or more to develop the 116 site and it pains him to see it fall in to disrepair. He said the site is in contention to be used so take care of it. He suggested the committee do a walk around.
The Board reviewed the realtor proposals. Selectman Moore said she liked KW Commercial because she liked their proposal and the marketing plan. Selectmen Glavac and Boisseau said they agree with her. Chairman Moritz said she agreed as well and said it was a better proposal. Selectman Glavac asked where they will get the money for any up-front fees and Chairman Moritz said there isn’t any but agreed they need to think about what to budget for. Mrs. Laleme suggested they get both companies up here. She also suggested the Board make sure there isn’t a covenant on the deed. Selectman Glavac said it was pointed out during the Visitor Center painting discussion that the Board makes the decision, so they should make the decision. Chairman Moritz said she would love to have KW come up and make a proposal to answer questions. The Board discussed having them come up for a presentation during a public hearing on August 20th. Chairman Moritz moved to move forward with KW Commercial’s proposal and come do a presentation during a public hearing. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 5-0.
Chief Ho-Sing-Loy came before the Board to discuss the purchase of a police cruiser. He said he checked on interest rate and Ford sets the rate, so it is the same. He said a purchase rate could be less but feels a lease to purchase is a better option. He said they need a replacement plan. The Chief went over the two quotes with the Board. One company outfits the cruiser and the other one doesn’t, so it has to be done separately. He said cruiser 4 is 5 years old and cruiser 2 is 3 years old and said he has put in $5000.00 to the cruisers. The Board discussed the cost yearly for the replacement plan. The Chief said he has $27,000 in the Capital Reserve account now and the 1st years payment can come out of that. He also said they put an average of 20 to 30 thousand miles per year on a cruiser. Dann said if the repair cost is less than fixed cost of new vehicle you should keep used vehicle. Chairman Moritz said the police vehicles have to work. Mr. Roy said you can’t compare police cars with civilian cars. Selectman Moore said you can’t have vehicles unavailable. Selectman Moore moved to go forward with lease purchase with MHQ with first payment to be taken out of Capital Reserve Funds. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 5-0.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 06/25/18, 07/09/18, and 07/16/18.
Selectman Boisseau moved to approve the minutes from 06/25/18. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 5-0.
Selectman Boisseau moved to approve the minutes from 07/16/18. Selectman Moore seconded.
Carried 4-0 (Selectman Glavac abstained).
Selectman Boisseau moved to approve the minutes from 07/09/18. Selectman Moore seconded.
The Board reviewed an offer of a property gift of a .16-acre lot on Beech Hill Road. The Board discussed if they thought it would be beneficial to the town to accept it and determined there would be no benefit.
At 8:40 Chairman Moritz moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91A:3 II for matters of personnel and legal. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Chairman Moritz did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session. Dann objected to the non-public session.
The Board discussed a refund request that they agreed would not be granted.
The Board discussed personnel. Selectman Moore moved to reinstate SB as Country Club employee. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 5-0.
Chairman Moritz moved to approve pay increase for KL. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 5-0.
Chairman Moritz moved to hire AL for the Fire Dept. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 5-0.
Chairman Moritz moved to approve recommendation to hire MS and increase for CB for Country Club. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 5-0.
Selectman Ubaldo moved to seal a portion of the non-public minutes because it is determined that divulgence of this information likely would render a proposed action ineffective and to un-seal the minutes on 11/01/18. Selectman Glavac seconded. Chairman Moritz did a roll call vote with all members agreeing to seal a portion of the minutes.
At 9:56 Selectman Ubaldo moved to adjourn. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 5-0.